Creating a Seamless Omnichannel Experience

An omnichannel operation means that you provide a seamless customer experience across all channels, be it online, a physical store, or by phone.

While omnichannel strategy was traditionally specific to the retail environment, restaurant owners are beginning to recognize its value in the hospitality sector as well. In an era of constant connectivity, providing positive customer experiences both online and offline is critical.

Here are three ways omnichannel affects restaurants:

Ordering Convenience

Customers expect the ultimate in ordering convenience. In world that values convenience and speed above all, customers will always go for the most convenient option. Make yourself visible and easy to do business with by leveraging an online ordering solution. Far more customers also use mobile phones to look up restaurant information and place orders, so a mobile ordering solution is necessary.

Loyalty and Rewards

Customers want to be rewarded for continuing to choose you over the competition, and they want those rewards to be based on their existing preferences. Personalized promotions are much more effective because they recommend items that customers already want. It’s a win/win—you benefit from increased sales, and they benefit from discounted rates on items they were already interested in.

Harvard conducted a study which revealed that increasing repeat business by just 5% can increase profits anywhere between 25% and 125%. Omnichannel loyalty and rewards programs are must-have features to retain customers and drive revenue.

Consistent Branding

Not only are you expected to offer online and mobile ordering options, but consistent branding should be carried through all platforms. Your online ordering and mobile apps should match the branding of your website, and should tie in with the overall theme of your restaurant.

Consistent branding across channels boosts brand recognition and elevates your image. It also helps increase customer satisfaction by providing a seamless customer experience throughout all of your channels.

Theory vs. Practice

An omnichannel restaurant strategy sounds like an easy way to stay competitive, boost profits, and retain customers, and it is—if you have the right technology in place. Operating a successful omnichannel restaurant requires solutions that integrate seamlessly with your POS. Disparate systems that can’t communicate with one another can prevent you from reaching the consistency needed to execute your omnichannel restaurant strategy.

Focus CA offers a wide range of restaurant solutions that easily integrate with your POS and allow you to operate a successful omnichannel business. For more information, contact one of our Solutions Consultants today.

How to Create an Effective Loyalty Program

Brand awareness and customer loyalty are the byproducts of a successful rewards program. Consumers want to feel a sense of personal connection with their favorite businesses, and loyalty programs foster this relationship. Here are some tips for creating the most effective loyalty and rewards programs for your restaurant:

1. Be aware of loyalty reducers.

Before you can give customers what they want, you need to know what they don’t want. Avoiding these pitfalls will help increase the number of program members that remain active after signing up.

  • Takes too long to accumulate points or earn rewards
  • Program sends too many communications, or irrelevant communications
  • Program does not offer rewards the customer is interested in

2. Know the types of loyalty and rewards programs customers prefer.

Points and discounts are the most popular reward types. Points can be earned based on dollars spent, number of visits, purchase of specific items, or for engaging in other related activities such as signing up or referring friends. Don’t be afraid to think beyond points and discounts to create other types of perks for members.

Some examples might be:

  • Free delivery
  • Members-only specials or perks
  • Invitations to exclusive events such as a tasting party for new menu items

3. Ensure you’ve checked off these success factors.

  • It’s easy to use
  • It’s easy to understand
  • It gives great discounts

Earning and redeeming points should be as convenient as possible. Redemption can be integrated into the checkout process, where it can help reduce cart abandonment and increase average order value. Providing a mobile app or website feature that allows members to check their point balances easily can also encourage them to keep progressing to the next goal.

4. Build a community around your program.

Engage with your loyalty and rewards program members on a variety of platforms. Use social media to strengthen your connections with them and give them ways to earn points other than sales transactions. Give points for sharing your Facebook posts, following your page, posting their own photos and stories about their experience with your restaurant, or writing reviews. Let your loyal customers be brand ambassadors by giving them points for referring their friends.

Finally, your loyalty and rewards program will work best when it is integrated with your POS system. Contact us for more information on integrating Focus Gift & Loyalty.

Featured Customer: Dog Haus

A combination of nostalgia, creativity, and commitment to community brought Dog Haus founders to open their first craft casual location in Pasadena, CA in 2010. Dog Haus whips up classic childhood favorites with a modernized flavor twist, featuring their signature Haus Dogs and Sausages on grilled Hawaiian rolls.

Their company vision seeks to provide a welcoming environment that encourages customers to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and share a unique dining experience.

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Dog Haus Founders – Hagop Giragossian, Andre Vener, Quasim Riaz

Dog Haus joined the Focus Family in 2013, with a goal of integrating excellent customer service with their uncompromisingly fresh, quality food and an energetic and fun environment. Operating with a fast service workflow, they wanted to adopt a point of sale solution that offers quick order entry and easy-to-navigate menu canvasses. With capacitive touch screens and streamlined menu design, Focus grants Dog Haus locations nationwide the continuous ability to service their customers quickly and with a smile.

Together with Focus, Dog Haus has successfully established a cult following with fast-growing franchises across the U.S. Some notable locations that trust Focus include Dog Haus North Hollywood, San Diego, Las Vegas, Scottsdale, and many more!

Dog Haus’ commitment to creating an enjoyable dining experience, teamwork, and community is powered by our unending desire to provide meaningful customer service and employee satisfaction. Next time you’re in the mood for a classic dog with an elevated flavor, visit your nearest Dog Haus location!

www.doghaus.com

Benefits of Mobile POS

No More Long Lines

Long lines can cause lost business and a tainted brand image as a result of negative word of mouth. Customers may become agitated and eventually leave without buying anything. With Focus CA mobile devices, staff members can input information into the system while customers are waiting in line. This allows for a speedy checkout and better overall customer experience.

Email Receipts

Focus mobile POS offers customers the option to have their receipts emailed to them. This makes your business more accommodating and the Earth a little bit greener.

Collect Email Information

Mobile POS devices make it easy to collect valuable information from your customers. Email addresses allow you to follow up with your customers and ensure they are satisfied with their product, and hopefully secure their business in the future.

Reduce Errors

Having portable devices that your staff can carry on the go decreases the likelihood of service errors. Since they can send orders straight to the kitchen, there is a lower chance your employees will forget orders.

 

FocusPay, powered by Shift4 Payments, offers portable pay at the table handheld devices so you can service your customers with ease and flexibility. Learn more here.

4 Ways to Reduce Restaurant Turnover

Seeing consistent staff turnover at your restaurant? You’re not alone. According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry sees almost double the turnover rate each year, with the most recent statistics averaging at 72.9%. While turnover is bound to occur in the food service industry, here are 4 ways you can minimize it for your business:

1. Identify and refine your establishment’s culture.

Turnover is often a result of mismatches between an operation’s culture and its employees. Understanding the elements of your culture —including mission, values, ethics, work environment, goals, and expectations — and making efforts to align it with your employees’ needs can improve overall satisfaction. Work on creating an environment where your staff supports one another, delivers exceptional customer service, and works hard while having fun.

2. Hire better.

Hire individuals who’ll contribute to your company’s culture. Identify compatible qualities and write detailed job descriptions that emphasize these attributes. In the interview process, ask a combination of personality and logistical questions to get a better understanding of each individual’s approach.

3.  Optimize your workflow.

Analyze workflow in all aspects of your business, and look for areas of improvement that could decrease turnover. Sometimes, even simple tweaks like proper scheduling and adequate communication can make it easier for employees to do their jobs, in turn improving staff morale.

4. Implement mobile terminals.

Empowering staff with mobile terminals makes their day-to-day work far easier. Mobile terminals simplify order entry tasks by allowing guests to view images of menu items and find answers to any questions they have, and transmitting orders directly to the kitchen.

A high restaurant turnover rate not only interrupts daily workflow, but may also negatively affect word of mouth and customer loyalty. Taking steps to improve employee satisfaction can help you avoid these consequences and maximize sales.

 

How the Right Reports Will Help You Maximize Profit

Keeping track of day-to-day operations and activities can be crucial to increasing average sales and net profit. Sales reporting allows restaurant or bar managers to quickly analyze performance, identify inefficiencies, and take action to speed up ticket turnover.

By having a POS system record each transaction and compile online sales reports, you can gain valuable insight on your storefront operations. With Focus Office, our cloud-based web reporting platform, you can easily generate Daily Sales Reports with accurate breakdowns.

The Daily Sales Report

The Daily Sales Report presents managers and owners all of the sales information for a given business day — including day parts, averages and voids, and gross sales.

Day Parts

A useful and insightful feature of the Daily Sales Reports is day parts, a breakdown of sales based on different hours of the day (e.g. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner). Day parts can be defined for individual reports, so you can vary day parts depending on the areas of your business.

Averages and Voids

The report also shows your average check amount and guest count, listed as unit quantities and dollar amounts. This information is given for the total time period the report was run for, as well as by day part breakdowns.

Gross Sales

One of the most lucrative metrics on the Daily Sales Report is Gross Sales. It is listed on the very far right of each report group where you will find both units and sales.

If you are interested in web reporting tools, please contact one of our Solution Consultants to discuss Focus Office in more detail.

General Troubleshooting Tips

I got the power… most of the time.

As service providers that work face-to-face with customers on a daily basis, restaurant and bar owners understand the importance of having a responsive POS system that can keep up. However, every now and then you may run into instances where your workstations are not powering on. Read our general troubleshooting tips below to keep you better prepared for these unpredictable mishaps.

Workstation Not Powered On

If your workstation is not powered on, make sure that the indicator light near the power button is turned on. If not, find the power button and press it to turn it on. Power buttons are located in different areas depending on the workstation type.

If the workstation does not turn on when the power button is pressed, try unplugging the power cable from the workstation and wall then reconnect. If your workstation has a standard power cord and power pack, disconnect the cables from the workstation, power pack and wall then reconnect.

If the workstation still does not turn on, try a different power outlet or verify the power strip/battery backup it is connected to is turned on.

 

Once you’ve tried these troubleshooting tips and your workstation is still not powering on, please contact our Help Desk and a member of our team will assist you.

Featured Customer: Descanso

In true Mexican a la plancha style, Descanso serves up flavorful and modernized dishes in Costa Mesa, CA. Their full service setting brings the charm of a street side taco stand to life in front of your very own eyes.

Descanso joined the Focus CA family in 2018 with hopes of streamlining their table and bar processes. Operating as both a sit down restaurant and fast service bar, the managers wanted to adopt a solution that combined capabilities for quality customer service and quick order entry. Focus’ versatile technology allows Descanso to optimize their workstations with responsive easy-to-navigate screens, along with tablet integration for added convenience.

With a vision to uphold tradition and flavor authenticity, the Focus team provides Descanso the technological capabilities to continuously execute their company mission.

Next time you’re in the area for some good eats, stop by Descanso for delicious Mexican classics served fresh off the grill!

Find out more about Descanso at www.descansorestaurant.com

Voiding vs. Refunding Payments

It happens every day. A server runs a credit card on the wrong table. A cashier overcharges a guest.

Humans make mistakes, however, when dealing with a guest’s money it can turn into a huge pain point. Once a credit card is swiped, an authorization for the check or inputted dollar amount is returned. At this point, the bank will hold onto those funds for 3-5 business days to ensure it will be available when finally settled.

In FOCUS there are two ways to ensure this money is returned to the guest. You may either void the payment or perform a refund back to the credit card. Both are very useful for very different reasons.

Voiding Payments

Any payment performed on the current business day can be voided to be removed from a check. With credit cards, this must be done prior to settling the credit card batch which is typically done at the end of the business day. When a credit card is voided from a check it is removed from the active batch and re-opens the check. The transaction can now be corrected by voiding or discounting menu items, ringing additional items, or applying a different payment. The guest will not see the voided credit card payment immediately drop from their account nor see a returned amount in this instance since it was only removed from the active batch. This method is especially useful in table service where the check itself needs to be corrected.

Refunding Payments

After the batch has settled, you cannot void the credit card payment. At this point, FOCUS has told the processor that no more changes will be made to the transaction and to finalize the charge. The only way to put funds back on the guest’s card would be to perform a refund. A refund can be performed via the ‘Refund’ function or by returning menu items.

The ‘Refund’ function is typically located on the Function screen and allows you to charge a designated dollar amount back to a credit card you swipe or search for using the ‘Find’ option. This action does not adjust inventory and is useful if the guest still consumed the items on the original transaction.

Return Items

‘Return Items’ allows you to ring negative price menu items to both return the items to inventory and return the funds to the guest’s card. This is especially useful for retail or resalable items so they can be sold again. This function is not active in all systems by default, however, you may ask one of our awesome Helpdesk Team Members to help you set this up.

Both refunding and returning items can also be used on the same business day as the original transaction. Doing this would ensure the guest sees both the negative and positive transactions on their account.

You should only use one option, void or refund, for correcting the transaction, not both.

Want to learn more? Use the links below to walk through each process in FOCUS!

Voiding a Credit Card Payment

Credit Card Refunds

Returning Items

Tablets and Pay at the Table

Tablets and pay at the table devices promise increased efficiency and boosted tip percentages for your hardworking staff. Let’s review a few key points to consider before picking a solution in order to help you reach these goals.

Ordering Tablets

If you are looking to increase your service staff’s efficiency, tablets allow them to place orders quickly from wherever they need to be instead of going back to a stationary terminal.

Don’t like the idea of guests feeling like they are being neglected while a server places an order on a tablet? Having a thought-out steps of service that includes how and when to use the tablet ensures servers are attentive to guests while still being able to take advantage of the device’s flexibility.

Tablet Payments

Adding on card readers for swipe or chip credit card transactions means that both ordering and paying can be done from a single device. This allows your staff to quickly process a transaction while still being tableside, giving the guest the piece of mind that their card never leaves their eyes.

Want to print receipts or credit card vouchers? Printers can either be strategically placed at convenient locations on the floor or WiFi printers can be carried or clipped to a belt to offer mobility.

Prefer to have your guests tip and sign at the time of processing? Tip and signature prompts allow the server to hand or show the tablet to the guest to complete the transaction if desired.

Self Pay Tablet

Tablets that can be left behind by a server or permanently installed at the table can allow guests to reorder drinks or simply pay out their check at their convenience.

Tip and on-screen signature prompts allow the guest to complete the transaction without having to wait for a paper voucher. Not only does this make guests happier to be able to leave at their own pace, but tip prompting has shown to lead to increased tip percentages for staff.

Knowing how the new technology you implement will affect your guests and staff will allow you to choose the right solution. Our Solution Consultants can help businesses like yours analyze how tech can drive growth and prosperity for you and your team.

Find out more about tablets and mobile POS here, or chat with a Solution Consultant.